GLOBAL – The 2024 Alltech Agri-Food Outlook presents a comprehensive snapshot of global feed production trends, offering a pragmatic analysis of the industry’s performance in the face of myriad challenges. 

With data sourced from the 13th annual global feed survey encompassing 142 countries and over 27,000 feed mills, this year’s report unveils both the resilience and vulnerabilities within the agricultural sector. 

The report reveals that global animal feed production held steady in 2023, totaling 1.29 billion metric tons (BMT), a marginal decrease of 0.2% from the previous year. 

This slight dip, amounting to 2.6 million metric tons (MMT), can be attributed to a multitude of factors reshaping the agricultural landscape.

One notable trend highlighted in the report is the increasing efficiency in feed utilization. Intensive production systems are spearheading efforts to optimize animal nutrition and farm management, resulting in reduced feed intake without compromising protein output. 

This optimization, coupled with the recalibration of production amidst tight margins, has contributed to lower overall feed demand.

The species-specific insights unveiled by the report are as follows. 

Poultry

Broiler feed production witnessed a significant increase of 3.5%. Factors such as lower input costs and shifting consumer preferences are poised to bolster the sector’s resilience in 2024. 

Meanwhile, efforts to optimize feed efficiency drive steady growth in layer feed production, despite macroeconomic challenges and disease outbreaks.

Pig feed  

The global pig feed production sector faced headwinds in 2023, with an overall decrease of 1.23%. While Latin America emerged as a bright spot, traditional powerhouses such as Europe, Asia-Pacific, and North America grappled with challenges exacerbated by African swine fever. 

Dairy 

A 2.3% decrease in dairy feed tonnage underscores the sector’s struggle against the backdrop of high feed costs and low milk prices. Asia-Pacific shows a growth trajectory, driven by rising milk product consumption and expanded feed production in co-operatives.

Beef  

Global beef feed production experienced a pronounced decline of 4.36%, driven by shifting cattle cycles in the United States and sustainability imperatives in Europe. Despite declines in Europe and North America, growth prospects in China, Brazil, and Australia underscore the intricate dynamics shaping the global beef feed landscape.

Aquaculture  

The aquaculture sector faced a 4.4% decline, attributed in part to China’s reduced aqua feed supply amidst lower fish prices. However, Latin America exhibited resilience, buoyed by strong demand for aqua products despite adverse weather conditions.

Pet feed  

The global pet feed industry continues its growth trajectory, albeit at a slower pace of 0.74% in 2023. North America and Latin America emerge as primary growth drivers, while Europe experiences a decline attributed to supply-chain disruptions and inflationary pressures.

Equine feed  

The equine feed industry witnessed a 3.9% decrease, driven by challenges such as high labor and material costs. Survey respondents highlight opportunities in nutritional solutions, particularly in gut health management and feed efficiency, amidst expectations of further price and volume decreases in the coming year.

Regional insights

Regionally, the Alltech report paints a diverse panorama of growth and contraction. While North America grapples with declines in beef feed production, Latin America emerges as a beacon of growth, buoyed by its export-oriented markets in aquaculture, poultry, and pork. 

Europe, meanwhile, faces a downward trajectory, plagued by geopolitical tensions and disease outbreaks, including the invasion of Ukraine and the scourge of African swine fever.

Asia-Pacific emerges as a bastion of growth, spearheading feed production advancements with a 1.4% increase. Notably, the region’s ruminant sectors offset setbacks in the aquaculture domain, showcasing the intricate interplay between regional dynamics and sectoral resilience.

Despite the challenges, the pet feed industry continues its upward trajectory, albeit at a slower pace. Demand for high-quality pet products remains robust, propelling growth primarily in North America and Latin America.

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